Wall Street savaged by tech sell-off

Earlier in the day, Twitter surged 15 percent in its biggest one-day gain in a year after the social media company easily beat Wall Street's revenue and profit estimates.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite lost 151.12 points, or 2.1 percent, to 7,167.21.

Profit growth at S&P 500 companies is expected to have slowed to 22.1 percent in the third quarter, from the previous two, according to Refinitiv data, and is expected to slow to 19.6 percent in the fourth quarter.

Nasdaq futures (NQcv1) fell 0.8 percent and S&P futures (EScv1) lost 0.5 percent, suggesting the US stock market may see more selling when it opens on Friday.

For the S&P 500, a 10 percent decline could push the U.S. index into correction territory.

The S&P 500 index rose 49 points, or 1.9 percent, to 2,705.

Following the heavy falls on global markets, ASX futures slumped by nearly 100 points, indicating falls of more than 2% on the local index today.

The Russell 2000 is down 73.34 points, or 4.8 per cent.

The S&P 500 has now declined for five straight sessions and had finished higher on only four of the 17 trading days this month.

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The Dow is down 135.80 points, or 0.5 per cent.

Amazon tumbled 8.7 percent after it missed quarterly sales estimates and gave a below par holiday-season sales forecast, sparking a 3.07-percent plunge in the S&P consumer discretionary sector. That's higher than what many economists had been projecting and followed an even stronger 4.2 percent rate of growth in the second quarter.

In London, the FTSE 100 retreated to levels last seen in December 2016, closing down 0.9% at 6,939.56.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 608.01 points, or 2.41 percent, to 24,583.42, the S&P 500 lost 84.59 points, or 3.09 percent, to 2,656.1 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 329.14 points, or 4.43 percent, to 7,108.40.

That, along with worries ranging from rising borrowing costs and bond yields to Italy's budget and upcoming United States mid-term elections, sparked a rout on Wall Street yesterday. That's just shy of what Wall Street calls a "correction", or a drop of 10 percent or more from a peak.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 3.13 percent. The euro fell to $1.1353 from $1.1359. Five of the six most valuable U.S. companies recently suffered a correction: Amazon, Microsoft, Alphabet, Berkshire Hathaway and Facebook are all down sharply from their recent highs, although some of those declines began this summer.

Bond prices rose as investors sought safety, sending yields lower.

As selling in stock markets abated, other markets also regained equilibrium. Brent crude, the benchmark for worldwide oil prices, dropped 0.5 per cent to $76.52 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 111.99 yen from 112.61 yen on Thursday. The S&P discretionary index fell 3.6 per cent.

  • Darren Santiago